Shakespearian production is a dream come true

Do you have a passion for the theatre? Are you a fan of the Bard? Then Terra Nova Productions is calling on you to get involved with their latest show - a large scale production of the Shakespearian comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Alongside professional actors, local people will be taking to the stage for the Peace IV-funded production at the Queen’s Hall in Newtownards from May 2 - 5, and director Andrea Montgomery is still on the look out for local people who would like to get involved.

“People may feel that they have missed the boat but we still need 30-40 people to get involved,” she explained. “ We are looking for people to work front of house, to help with costumes, hair and make up, or if you are interested in sound and lighting there are opportunities there are well. The next few weeks are crucial so I would like to put out a real call for people to come on board.”

Andrea set up Terra Nova Productions, Northern Ireland’s intercultural theatre company, in 2012 and since then they have taken to the stage, not just in Northern Ireland, but all over the world. Having written her Masters thesis on Shakespeare, Andrea has always had a love of the Bard and in 2016 she staged The Tempest with Terra Nova as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations. “It was an amazing experience but if you had asked me a month afterwards if I would do it again I would have run screaming,” admitted Andrea, “After a bit of recuperation I started to think it would be quite nice to do it again.”

Andrea chose Midsummer Night’s Dream because the themes of love and the struggle for peace resonated so strongly with 21st century Northern Ireland. “It lends itself really nicely to intercultural interpretation,” Andrea continued. “Running through the play is the sense that peace itself is not enough, there has to be love as well.”

Renowned for challenging the traditional theatrical roles, Andrea has once again turned things around by switching genders of many of the leading characters and ensuring that diversity is well represented on the stage. “In the play the mechanicals, who are a great fun bunch of characters, are usually tradesmen but I decided to make them WI ladies instead,” revealed Andrea.

Looking forward to opening night and with rehearsals now well underway. Andrea added: “It is really exciting. I really believe when people go to this staging of Shakespeare it will be so accessible, it is about fun and romance.”

If you would like to be part of Midsummer Night’s Dream log onto www.terranovaproductions.net/volunteer.